Technical Specialist – Dr Jason Webber (Division of Cancer & Genetics, School of Medicine) group, Cardiff University



Technical Specialist


School of Medicine

Managerial, Professional and Specialist Staff – MPSS


Technical Specialist
Division of Cancer and Genetics
School of Medicine
College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

We are seeking a highly talented and enthusiastic scientist to join the Tissue Microenvironment Group, working on an exciting new project entitled “Making a difference in prostate cancer: developing a new blood based test for early diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer”. The project is led by Dr Jason Webber (Division of Cancer & Genetics, School of Medicine) and funded by Cancer Research Wales.

When diagnosing patients with prostate cancer, it is difficult to discriminate patients with slow growing tumours from those with aggressive tumours who require urgent treatment.  Currently, doctors rely on tissue biopsy, which is an invasive procedure with potential for numerous complications. There remains an unmet need for a simple, non-invasive, assay for diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Utilising existing expertise within the group, you will support the development of a blood-based test, to detect RNAs contained within extracellular vesicles, capable of identifying patients with aggressive prostate cancer. This will involve collaboration with researchers locally, at the Wales Gene Park, and further afield.

Applicants should have a degree in a biomedical science and relevant laboratory experience. In addition, you must have excellent organisational skills and previous experience in the conduct, interpretation and reporting of qualitative and quantitative research.
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Jason Webber – WebberJP@cardiff.ac.uk

This post is part-time (28 hours per week – pattern to be agreed), fixed term until 31 January 2022 and available from 3 February 2020.

Salary £27,511 – £31,866 per annum, pro rata for hours worked (Grade 5).  It is anticipated that the maximum starting point will be point 23 (£27,511 per annum, pro rata).

Date advert posted: Monday, 28 October 2019

Closing date: Thursday, 28 November 2019
Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds. We therefore welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of sex, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

Job Description

Job Purpose

Support the University in development of a novel assay for detection of extracellular vesicles from cell culture and patient biofluids, carrying out supporting work, providing advice, guidance and support, and leading projects within this area.

Duties and Responsibilities

Key Duties

• Provide professional advice and guidance on processes and procedures associated with the isolation and characterisation of extracellular vesicles to internal and external customers, using judgement and creativity to suggest the most appropriate course of action where appropriate, and ensuring complex and conceptual issues are understood
• Investigation and analysis of specific issues relating to detection of extracellular vesicles, creating recommendation reports, supported by advances within the field of extracellular vesicle biology
• Ensure that the provision of a proof-of-concept assay for detection of patient-derived extracellular vesicles is delivered to the institution, proactively changing the delivery according to customer requirements
• Collaborate with others in order to make recommendations for developments of established processes and procedures
• Establish working relationships with key contacts, developing appropriate communication links with the University’s Schools/Directorates and outside bodies as required
• Create specific working groups from colleagues across the University to achieve Tissue Microenvironment Group (TMEG) and wider Division of Cancer & Genetics (DCG) / School of Medicine objectives
• Supervise specific project teams on an occasional basis to accomplish key objectives
• Develop and deliver training within isolation and detection of extracellular vesicles
• Undertake a variety of administrative duties to support the department
• Instruct and guide other employees across the University within aspects of extracellular vesicle biology (including isolation, detection, and characterisation) as required

General Duties

• Ensure that an understanding of the importance of confidentiality is applied when undertaking all duties
• Abide by University policies on Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity
• Perform other duties occasionally which are not included above, but which will be consistent with the role

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Qualifications and Education

1. Degree in a biomedical science/NVQ 4 or equivalent Professional membership/experience

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

2. Substantial experience of working within a research laboratory
3. Able to demonstrate professional knowledge of research methods and techniques (e.g. cell culture, RNA isolation, qPCR, ELISAs, flow cytometry etc) to give advice and guidance to internal and external customers 
4. Ability to set up standard office systems and procedures and make improvements as appropriate

Customer Service, Communication and Team Working

5. Ability to communicate conceptually detailed and complex information effectively and professionally with a wide range of people
6. Evidence of ability to explore customers’ needs and adapt the service accordingly to ensure a quality service is delivered

Planning, Analysis and Problem Solving

7. Evidence of ability to solve expansive problems using initiative and creativity; identifying and proposing practical solutions and resolving problems with a range of potential outcomes
8. Evidence of demonstrable knowledge of key advances within research methods and techniques (e.g. cell culture, RNA isolation, qPCR, ELISAs, flow cytometry etc)
9. Evidence of ability to work unsupervised to deadlines, planning and setting priorities for own work and that of others and monitoring progress


10. A willingness to undertake further training and development

Desirable Criteria

11. Experience of working with/analysing data from next generation sequencing studies
12. Postgraduate/Professional qualification
13. Experience of working in a Higher Education environment
14. A demonstrable history of contributing to excellent publications in the area
15. Knowledge/experience of working with extracellular vesicles

Additional Information

IMPORTANT: Evidencing Criteria

It is School of Medicine’s policy to use the person specification as a key tool for short-listing. Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the essential criteria as well as, where relevant, the desirable. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide this evidence via a supporting statement.

Please ensure when submitting this document / attaching it to your application profile you name it with the vacancy reference number, in this instance for this post, 9216BR.

If candidates do not provide written evidence of meeting all of the essential criteria then their application will not be progressed. The School of Medicine welcome the submission of CVs to accompany evidence of the job-based criteria.

Salary Range Min.


Salary Range Max.


Job Category

Academic – Research, Technical


Grade 5